Trump Twitter Meltdown: President Goes To War With FBI, Urges Suing ABC For "Bad Reporting"

This weekend may set a new record for number of Trump tweets and retweets. Starting with his Saturday congratulations on the Senate's passage of Tax Reform, Trump has interacted no less than 17 times with his favorite social platform, although things seemed to accelerate following his Saturday noon tweet in which Trump responded to Flynn's plea agreement in which the president said that "I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!"

The odd wording of that tweet - that he knew Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time of his firing - prompted many to speculate that it was prima facie admission of obstruction and interference - something Mueller is tasked with proving - and led to the unprecedented comment by Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, who said he drafted the president's Saturday morning. Dowd told ABC News he wrote those words and had done so in a "sloppy" manner.

The reason for Dowd's comment is that Trump's tweet seemed to "add a potentially explosive new dimension" to the ongoing investigation, because as ABC notes, if what Trump, or his lawyer, said is true, why then would Trump ask the FBI director to go easy on Flynn, as former FBI Director James Comey later testified? The message set off renewed talk of potential evidence of obstruction of justice.

As ABC further adds this morning,  Dowd's acknowledgment of involvement in the tweet means it is not clear whether the president did in fact know Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time of firing him -- though one source familiar with the president’s thinking said Trump did not know. Administration officials have declined to comment on that matter, as well.

The unusual clarification by Dowd –-revealing that someone other than Trump himself had authored a tweet from his official account - could also be an attempt to tamp down on potential legal exposure from the message.

 

The president did not respond to shouted questions Saturday evening about Flynn’s firing as he returned home from campaign fundraisers in New York City.

While we expect Trump's Saturday tweet to once again shape the news cycle for the next several days, at least until the inevitable and "distracting" war with North Korea finally begins, even as the debate rages what tweets does Trump personally publish and which are drafted by his lawyers, in what appears to have been an attempt to distract from the "confession" fallout, Trump went on a veritable twitter rampage on Saturday night, which has since continued into Sunday morning.

Late on Saturday, Trump launched a new attack on Hillary and the Justice Department over Hillary's mishandling of emails, writing, "So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed, while Crooked Hillary Clinton, on that now famous FBI holiday “interrogation” with no swearing in and no recording, lies many times...and nothing happens to her? Rigged system, or just a double standard?" He then continued: "Many people in our Country are asking what the “Justice” Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and “acid washed” 33,000 Emails? No justice!"

He then proceeded with the previously discussed slam of ABC News' Brian Ross, congratulating the network for "suspending Brian Ross for his horrendously inaccurate and dishonest report on the Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt. More Networks and “papers” should do the same with their Fake News!"

And while that concluded the Saturday night tweetstorm, Trump was back this morning and angrier than ever, when he discovered the story about the "tainted" FBI agent, Peter Strzok, who as we reported yesterday, was said to have been "removed" from the Mueller probe (and who previously was tasked with investigating the Clinton email server), after anti-Trump text messages were discovered in his communications to a fellow FBI officer, with whom he had an extramarital affair.

Trump started by retweeting IBD's Paul Sperry, who recapped the situation as follows: 

BREAKING: top FBI investigator for Mueller--PETER STRZOK--busted sending political text messages bashing Trump & praising Hillary during the 2016 campaign. STRZOK actually LED the Hillary email probe & recommended clearing her; then was tapped to SUPERVISE the Trump Russia probe!

 

Wray needs to clean house. Now we know the politicization even worse than McCabe's ties to McAuliffe/Clinton. It also infected his top investigator PETER STRZOK, who sent texts bashing Trump & praising Hillary during campaign. Strzok led Hillary probe & supervised Trump probe!

In response, Trump then lashed out at the FBI in general, and Comey in particular, with a barrage of of tweets, the most comprehensive of which was "Report: “ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE”  Now it all starts to make sense!"

preceded by "Tainted (no, very dishonest?) FBI “agent’s role in Clinton probe under review.” Led Clinton Email probe. @foxandfriends Clinton money going to wife of another FBI agent in charge."...

Ultimately, Trump slammed of both the agency and its former head "After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness."

And speaking of Comey, it was before 6 am when Trump, seeming concerned about the implications of the Dowd tweet snafu, tweeted "I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!"

The BBC's Paul Danager perhaps summarized the ongoing fracture in the realtionship between Trump and the FBI: "Not since Nixon has a US President been this at war with the FBI. It’s destructive for both arms of government."

It still remains to be seen who will win this war.

Trump wasn't done, however, and shortly after his last tweet on the FBI, he shifted attention to last week's "Kate's Law" ruling in San Francisco, tweeting "Such a total miscarriage of Justice in San Francisco!"...

... before reverting once again to the ABC reporting snafu, urging "People who lost money when the Stock Market went down 350 points based on the False and Dishonest reporting of Brian Ross of @ABC News (he has been suspended), should consider hiring a lawyer and suing ABC for the damages this bad reporting has caused - many millions of dollars!"

And since Gen. Kelly has clearly given up any hope of controlling Trump's twitter account, we can only expect more, perhaps self-destructive, tweets to come out as Trump's tweetstorm appears to be nowhere near over.